Birchbox September Subscription Box and From Korea, With Love Beauty Collection

September 27, 2015
Today I’m sharing my first look at Birchbox subscription boxes along with a review of a limited-edition box they launched a few weeks ago. I’m a relatively new subscriber to Birchbox – this is my second monthly box that I’ve received and so far I’m pleased. I opted for the basic $10/month box – although I’m learning there are other options and upgrades you can select. For $10/month you get 5 samples each month based on a beauty profile you fill out on areas ranging from skin, hair, style, etc.
Each month you receive a different small cardboard box with different designs. September’s box design was inspired by moodboards created by subscribers which I think is super fun. These are the items I received – based on what I’ve seen on social channels and other reviews, everyone gets a slightly different box based on preferences in your profile. 

Featured in my September box from left to right:

  • POP Beauty POP Eyeshadow Trio Sugar Plum – this has three shadows from the POP Beauty line, the colors in mine are all cool-toned and I’m not a fan of purples so I actually gifted mine away to a friend who adores plum colors, I didn’t have a chance to test or swatch it
  • Davines LOVE Smoothing Shampoo and Conditioner – I used to use Davines when my salon carried the line and I loved it, this is my first time trying the LOVE line. Both are infused with an olive extract and are super hydrating on the hair. I have normal thick hair and wash it daily. This Davines left the hair super soft and well moisturized, I wouldn’t use it for everyday, but it has a soft scent that is fresh and clean. It’s slightly floral and a tiny bit sweet – it’s hard to describe but I love both. Enough that I’m seriously considering purchasing the full size for winter.
  • Juice Beauty Green Apple Peel for Sensitive Skin – this is a super liquidy thin-textured peel. I have sensitive skin that feels any tingly sensation immediately. I didn’t feel any stinging, pain, or tingle with this one. I’ve only used it five times so far on a small portion of my face. I haven’t noticed a huge difference – the skin is smoother on the area I tested it. I think I’ll need to do more testing to see, but I like the concept of a super gentle peel that won’t sting the skin. I suspect since it’s gentle – it will take a bit more use to see more visible results.
  • English Laundry Eau de Parfum Signature for Her – this is the only thing I did not like, it’s a strong bright floral rose, it’s not horrible, the scent is just not for me – I found it too floral and too sweet.
  • Malin + Goetz Grapefruit Face Cleanser and Vitamin E Moisturizer – I’m a fan of both, I’ve bought and used up full sizes of the face wash, I’ve gone through many sample minis of the Vitamin E Face Moisturizer. The Grapefruit Face Wash is a nice gel-like cleanser that is super gentle but cleans the skin and helps clear it up without drying out the skin. The Vitamin E Moisturizer is a super gentle moisturizer that I find good for normal to oily skin. If you have dry skin, it probably won’t be moisturizing enough for you.
Next up is the From Korea, With Love Beauty Collection Box ($35). Unfortunately this sold out in a matter of a few days and although you can buy everything individually, each item is also currently wait listed. I was happy I was able to purchase a box before it sold out. Right now it’s available on waitlist for subscribers as an add on for the October Box. I’ve been told that it will also be available in the Soho Store in New York mid-October.

Items featured in this box are all very cute with a youthful look and feel to the packaging. Here’s what came in the collection box:
  • Too Cool for School Dinoplatz Escalator Mascara – This is a really interesting mascara. It has a twist function on the cap on the wand end that allows you to control the length of the mascara wand. If you twist it up to extend it, the wand lengthens and allows for a more lengthening and defining application. If you twist it down to shorten it, bristles shrink closer together and you get a thicker more volumized lash look. The color is a true deep black. It holds the curl of my super straight lashes and doesn’t smudge at all. I have super skimpy lashes so I wish it volumized more, but it defines and stays put so I’m a happy camper.
  • IPKN Twinkle Lips in Glow Pink – This is a clear light pink lip color in the tube, but it’s like the Dior Lip Glow – it reacts to your lip chemistry and turns color. On me it transforms into a deep rosy flushed pink. There’s no tingling sensation and it feels very moisturizing. I like that there is no scent and it lasts a long time even though it’s glossy it stays put.
  • Tonymoly Panda’s Dream Brightening Eye Base – This is a brightening eye base for under the eye. It’s a sheer white pearl cream that comes in a twist up tube. The packaging is really cute, but even though I’d like to call myself young at heart I don’t know how I feel about having a panda packaged eye brightener. The product itself does brighten the eyes – I’m borderline too tan for it – it’s very white (even though it blends out). I do get lighter in the winter months so I think it will be perfect in a couple months. I’ve been using it alone under foundation and also under concealer. You only need a tiny swipe of it and it goes a long way. So far it stays put, it doesn’t cake or crease.
  • Too Cool for School Egg Cream Mask – This is something I’ve been reading about and it has so many raves I was excited to try it. This mask has extracts of egg white and yolk which to me sounds less than appealing. I was relieved to find that it was pleasantly scented. The sheet mask itself is super saturated – I found mine a bit drippy, so I recommend applying it over a sink. This is one of the most soothing masks I’ve tried. It feels really nice on the skin and helps to calm it down. I have mixed feelings about the results – it does leave the face soft, smooth and hydrated but the texture is thick and slippery – I couldn’t leave it on the skin after removing the sheet. I had to rinse my face off. The effects of the mask after use aren’t the same as SK-II, Tatcha or Kiehl’s (all of which I can still feel after it’s removed). That being said the skin does look more refreshed and radiant after use.
  • Tonymoly Magic Good Banana Hand Milk – Is a thick almost pomade-texture cream. It smells like sweet candy bananas which seems more suitable for eating than for skincare. The good news is that the scent fades after a few minutes. The texture absorbs quickly into the skin and makes the hands look super smooth and soft. I wish it had a different scent and then I’d be all over this one. I’m not sure how I feel about wearing banana-scented skincare.
  • CLIO Waterproof Pen Liner in Kill Black – This is an eyeliner one of my friends has been raving about. She wears liquid liner daily so she’s tried tons of them. She says this one is the best one she’s ever tried. I gave it a test run and am also impressed. It’s a true glossy black and is super easy to apply. The tip is sturdy but not pokey. It stayed put all day long on me without fading or smudging. I’m a convert.
Overall I’m really happy with the Birchbox subscription service so far. Each box comes with a small description card. September’s box came with a 20% off coupon which was a nice surprise. At $10 a month – I think it’s fun to try new things without having to buy the full size of. Still, over the course of the year it can add up and I know some would prefer to choose things rather pay for a random selection of samples. This is the first beauty subscription service I’ve tried – I know they’ve been around for years so if you’ve tried any, I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Or if you haven’t tried them, if you have any Korean Beauty loves, please share! I’m starting to explore more and have fallen in love so far. I’m going through several different brands of sheet masks and hope to have a roundup review soon.

You can subscribe to the boxes online. Birchbox Women are $10/month, Birchbox Man costs $20/month. Or you can visit their store in Soho to build your own box (which I hope to visit someday!).

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